Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to continue playing its role for peace and stability in Afghanistan, direly needed not only for its citizens but the entire region following the recent takeover by the Taliban.
Taliban seized control over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety.
“We expect that Taliban will fulfil promises [made] to global community over women and human rights and [ensure that] Afghan territory won’t be used against any other country,” he said while addressing the faculty and cadets of Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul on Friday.
Gen Qamar viewed the flag presentation parade as chief guest and also awarded Battalion Standard to 4th Pakistan Battalion which was raised on October 10, 2016, according to military’s media wing, the ISPR.
The chief of army staff said the country’s sincere efforts to promote and support the Afghan peace process manifest our vision for a peaceful, economically integrated and prosperous region.
“We have unambiguously and repeatedly asked global community to play its part in an inclusive and unbiased Afghan process as well as economic sustenance of Afghanistan,” he stressed.
Pakistan has paid a huge price for instability in Afghanistan, said the army chief.
Despite Pakistan’s own economic challenges, the country has hosted over three million Afghan refugees for more than four decades.
In one of the most important policy speeches covering challenges, opportunities and Pakistan’s response, the COAS covered the country’s present status at international fora, and spoke about struggle and sacrifices with reference to the month of independence. He also spoke in detail about Afghanistan situation, Pakistan’s efforts, future course of action and role of spoilers.
Commenting on future challenges and response of armed forces as the first responders to every challenge, he said PMA is one of finest institutions in the world, entrusted with training of future leadership. He lauded PMA’s role as the premier training institution of the Pakistan Army and commended the faculty and staff for maintaining high standards of training and grooming the young leaders that form the backbone of the army.
The unconquerable resolve of the junior leadership of army is what Pakistan’s enemies dread the most, he remarked. “Pakistan Army is proud of its young officers who continue to lead their men from the front with courage and devotion to defend the freedom of motherland.”
He said today’s Pakistan is strong and progressing well despite living in turbulent times
After independence we not only withstood socio-economic and other challenges, but also defeated terrorism and defended the motherland, he maintained.
“Our matchless national harmony, discipline and imagination to respond to Covid-19 and locust despite the lack of infrastructure and resources is tremendous,” he remarked.
Recalling plight of people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) due to Indian state repression, Gen Qamar said the Kashmiris are under worst military occupation in human history. “Our hearts beat with Kashmiri people,” said COAS, adding that they country will continue to stand with them always and forever.
Regional peace will remain elusive without a just and peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue, said the army chief.
Referring to collective freedom struggle against imperialism by leaders, COAS said people of sub-continent must not forget that the ultimate goal was to secure independent, harmonious and prosperous region where in all new created countries could live peacefully.
Unfortunately those goals today have become hostage to increasing polarisation and radicalisation in our neighbourhood, he said.
“Inimical forces are trying to weaken our society and state through hybrid war… but Pakistan Army is fully cognisant of these challenges and is prepared to tackle them. We will ensure country’s defence by focusing on core competencies and technology.
“Only strong armed forces can guarantee defence of the motherland.”